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Ryan Lamb

Standard laurel trees wilting

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Hi,

 

Hopefully I can some help here.

 

I bought a few standard laurel trees from a reputable website. All looked in good health in images sent. They came with root balls.

 

When arrived they looked rather limp (all leaves wilting). Planted late February and never really looked any better, some worse. Now developing yellow leaves which easily fall off.

 

Planted them with bonemeal and conditioner as advised by sellers.

 

Soil drains quite well. I have been watering once a week for 20 mins per tree (with trickle from hose). Soil feels cold and slightly moist 1 week after watering. Certainly doesn't look or feel waterlogged. I don't believe there is any clay in soil. 

 

I am at a loss as to what to do - water or not water. Given that they arrived wilted, I'm not sure it is even something I am doing. 

 

They were expensive for me so really keen to get fixed. Seller is being very helpful and I think open to replacement but I would rather just know what is going wrong with them to fix without the hassle.

 

Pictures attached.

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Ryan
 

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Interesting…. How big was the root ball on them when they arrived? As they're quite large specimens (photos look about 10ft?) if the root ball has been reduced significantly upon transplanting there could be a root/shoot imbalance and it may not be able to draw enough moisture out of the ground to support it's current canopy size. 

It's not planted too deep?

 

Laurel is super hardy, if a few of the stems dieback they'll soon be replaced.

 

My five pence worth anyway!

 

Trowbridge Tree Services

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I’ve had similar problems with these before and have found that smaller pot grown ones seem to turn out better in the long term .

this could be obvious but don’t water the leaves just the roots if it’s a hot day which can cause leaves scorching and later to fall off 

you could also try cutting the tops off so more of the energy goes back into the roots and also getting better stakes to prevent any wind movement .a layer of mulch would also help 

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Hi again,

 

Definitely not planted too deep, I made sure of that. I had help from a gardener - the root balls appeared large in a hessian bag but on inspection, he wasn't as impressed with the quality of the root system, they didn't hold the sold very well.

 

I've only been watering the roots and they've got mulch.

 

They are quite tall, probably about 9ft. If it is a root /shoot imbalance should I be watering more to help it take up more water? 

 

I got them to create a dense coverage above the fence line eventually for privacy - do you think in time they will eventually grow enough roots to recover and achieve this?

 

Thanks,

 

Ryan

 

 

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18 hours ago, Twentyeight Trees said:

Interesting…. How big was the root ball on them when they arrived? As they're quite large specimens (photos look about 10ft?) if the root ball has been reduced significantly upon transplanting there could be a root/shoot imbalance and it may not be able to draw enough moisture out of the ground to support it's current canopy size. 

It's not planted too deep?

 

Laurel is super hardy, if a few of the stems dieback they'll soon be replaced.

 

My five pence worth anyway!

 

Trowbridge Tree Services

I had this a few years ago and out of 15 trees only 3 survived, Turned out cats were pissing on them and the acid was  burning the roots

Edited by topchippyles

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I would imagine they need a lot more water if they were not well watered initially then they may not be taking up much of the water and with the size of those plants I would imagine they need a lot of water. Do they have any pipe system to get the water right into the root system?

 

From the soil there, it looks very rich and could also be part of the problem. Laurel do well in good clay soil and are generally very hardy. Depending on whether or not they were transplants is also an important point. From the looks of it they got a shock. And a large transplant takes quite a bit to get over the shock. 

 

I transplanted some 7-8 foot laurels into heavy clay soil and watered them for a number of weeks. Some of them took fine, a few dropped a lot of their leaves but are now recovering. In hindsight it would of been better to do my transplanting on a gradient approach so as to lessen the shock to the plants.  Unfortunately I didn't have that option as the builders had moved in and were about to dig up all of the trees for scrap. 

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It's early days. Carry on watering through dry spells and make sure they are staked rock-solid in the ground. It will take the rest of the growing season for them to find their feet, so to speak, so don't be surprised if they look much the same for the next year or so. Large transplants take a lot longer to settle in than small ones and if the rootballs were disproportionately small, it just makes things worse. But it's not a failure just yet.

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